Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gratis and Free

What an evening of free music...

In honor of Lukas' belated 25th, a nice-sized group of us headed downtown for a gratis doubleheader of tune-age: an hour of the Brooklyn-based band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the South Street Seaport > two hours of Club D'elf with special guest Marco Benevento.

We all had a great time at the Seaport to kick things off. Flanked on either side by the World's Largest Pizzeria Uno and the huge Peking ship, a large crowd assembled on Pier 16 for the hipster-doofus quintet Clap Your Hands. These guys can really play. After starting with a slower ditty that was practically a solo performance by the frontman, the band picked it up with a great number called The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth. Man, is this shit catchy...this group is pretty sweet. I'd certainly check 'em out if they come to your area -- summer and fall tourdates are up on their website.

But there were two separate highlights of their show last night, with Clap Your Hands only peripherally involved. Every review I've read of these guys, and almost every review I've gotten from friends, compares this group to the Talking Heads. Maybe they're not exactly like the TH, but their lead singer has a David Byrne-voice thing goin' on, and some of their beats are pretty similar.

So who should show up at the pier for the show, about 30 yards to our left? That's right, a God among mortals, David Byrne. Standing on the outside of the large throng in a pale-yellow collared shirt, the now-grayed TH founder was scarfing down a slice of Uno's finest pizza, licking his fingers clean and carefully wiping the corners of his mouth. Hoobs actually walked right by him on his way to the beer stand and missed his chance at a brush with greatness. One minute I spotted someone talking to Him, the next we looked over and he'd split. And just like that, he was gone.

The other highlight was the pair of dancers you just couldn't keep your eyes off if you tried. One was a sloppy, late 20s/early 30s douchebag dressed in business casual, who looked like he'd guzzled 15 beers since work finished an hour earlier. He was dancing wildly on an elevated platform, stopping only to swig more beer and shout with his friend, "Clap your hands. And say yeah" like a clever little girl. The other was a 75-year-old man, not a day younger, who danced by gyrating his pelvis like cross between a hula-hooping robot and Corky St. Clair. I took a camera-phone video of this act, although upon further review, it looks like I recorded 20 seconds of an old man's ass for my own private perversions.

From the Seaport we trekked up to Canal for the Club D'elf show at the Knitting Factory, otherwise known as the sauna. At one point I think I started to hallucinate, and I asked Hoobs and Spanish Miguel to throw some more water on the rocks. The show was decent, but my boy Marco B. failed to show up. He was there in body, but he really didn't let loose until the last song of the night. The beauty of Club D'elf is that their lineup changes around bassist Mike Rivard from show to show, but last week's two-hour set was infinitely better. This one wasn't bad, I still enjoyed the free muzak, but I hope next week they move back to peaking jams and valleys instead of staying in one ambient gear all night.

My summation review
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: See 'em, they're cool like Billy Zane
David Byrne: See him, he's elusive and likes pizza
Old man dancer: Highlight of the night, great ass
Knitting Factory: Hotter than a half-fucked fox in a forest fire
Club D'elf: Cool band, better last week
Marco Benevento: Still cool, even when he mails it in

Slack Link of the Day: poophop sent this little game over...pretty self-explanatory and pretty fuckin' awesome. Good work, poophop.

Slack Video/Story of the Day: For those of you who don't watch ESPN (good for you), you may have missed one of the cooler plays in sports. Mike Lowell and the Florida Marlins actually pulled off the Hidden Ball Trick last night! Can you believe that shiite, somebody fell for the oldest trick in the book?! On third base, no less! Click here for the story and the video.

Slack Song of the Day: Since we're discussing the Talking Heads, no better way to start the day than a cover of Girlfriend is Better by the Yonder Mountain String Band from July 3, 2005 at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater. I may have posted this before, but it's pretty cool nonetheless. The vocals don't quite hold up, but musically it's good stuff.

And while we're talkin' YMSB covers, here's a pretty cool version of a greeeeat Neil Young tune, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, from 7/21/05 in Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell. Real Topeka people.


At 11:07 AM, Blogger ethan said...

terrero's gonna catch a lot of heat for this, but what about the 3b coach, or, say, the entire bench??

and really, you can never go wrong with an old man dancing. that shit should be a screen saver for sure.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger hoobs said...

i like the h-capitalization in "Him" when referring to David Byrne. nice touch...alright, like doug would say, "i'm outta hee-ee-er"

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Safe trip, Hoobs. Enjoy A-Squared.

Ethan, I agree...where the H was the third base coach there? I can understand the bench missing that, but surely both the runner and 3B coach should have realized Lowell never threw the ball back.

Either way, that's AWESOME. I've never seen that work, even though they said Lowell pulled it off last year some time. Craisins.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

Maybe Mike Lowell can teach that runner the hidden ball trick.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Ha, I likey.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

i'm a little surprised more people dont try the hidden ball trick, there's no down side to it, u try it, it doesnt work, u move on, business as usual, i'd be pulling it every 3rd batter. u're tellin me if u tried it on manny u wouldnt get it to work 9 times out of 10, vinny mac baby, NO CHANCE!

thats weird ace, i didnt see the link to see your old man ass dance footage (solid band name), hook me up!

At 2:13 PM, Blogger jakezebra said...

Poophop, are you kidding? That footage is going straight to DVD.

Jake: Oh Sharon hi...let me introduce you to my friend Ace. Yeah, he's the one I told you about that made his fortune from the old man ass gone wild video.
Ace: My life is art.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Poophop, it's on my phone...I'll give you a private screening some time. My life IS art.

At 4:00 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

excellent smithers, or something


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